It is no secret that I was tired of blogging. I had contemplated giving it all up for a few months but then I realised my first blog anniversary was approaching. There is something about reaching the one year mark that has motivated me to carry on. So I am officially back to blogging.
One of the key things that I have learnt in the past year is that blogging is as much about the reading of other blogs and interacting with other bloggers as it is about posting on your own blog. Mshairi and I have often told each other that for one to really consider him/herself a blogger or a part of the blogsphere one has to engage with other blogs and bloggers both on and off the blogs. With this in mind I have decided to split my blog anniversary post into three sections; interaction, reading and writing.
The interaction part (Part 1) shall focus on those bloggers (and the odd non-blogger) whose interaction has helped, encouraged or taught me in the past year. In Part 2 I plan to list all the blogs I have enjoyed reading and finally I shall round off with a post on the highs and lows of my blog journey.
Seeing as I am rather tired after completing another journey (London to Lancaster) I shanâ€™t start Part 1 until tomorrow, however I will use the next few paragraphs to moan about the Lancaster to London train ride.
As much as I like travelling, when it comes to travelling in and around the United Kingdom, my mode of transportation is rather limited. Aside from the fact that I canâ€™t drive, havenâ€™t got access to a car and have little trust in the driving abilities of others, I also get car sick so travel by road is rarely an option for me. Air travel would be my first choice however, Lancaster being the small city that it is, does not have an airport, so flying is out of the question. This leaves me with train travel and up until mid last year it was the most convenient way to travel. Yes, English trains are always late but the longer the delay the more time you have to spend either in the train station pub, or drinking aboard the train. The lateness, for me was outweighed by all the other benefits, such as Lancaster station being only 10 minutes away from home.
Sadly, I can no longer look forward to boarding a Virgin Train. It started off last year when the people at National Rail decided that I no longer qualify for a Young Personâ€™s rail card. I donâ€™t mind being called old but charging me 1/3 more for the â€œprivilegeâ€?? Talk of rubbing salt into a wound. As if this wasnâ€™t enough they have launched the Virgin Pendolino train – a high speed sleek machine complete with in-seat radio and power points to plug in laptops.
Actually I quite like the new look, what I donâ€™t like is the high speed part. While inter-railing in Scandinavia I travelled on a high-speed train and my insides did not react well. Mshairi likens it to the spinning feeling you get when you lay your head down to sleep after a night of heavy drinking. Only difference is you are not drunk, nor are you in the privacy of your own home. Instead you are stone cold sober, sitting on a packed train a good mile away from the constantly engaged toilets. The thought of standing up while the train is in motion and attempting to navigate your way past sweaty travellers while holding your stomach only enhances the experience.
Anyway, back to the Virgin Pendolino, not only does this train reach speeds of 140 miles per hour it is also able to go around corners and bends 20% faster than previous trains. This is all due to a brand new tilt mechanism. Well, they say tilt, to me it felt more like being inside a washing machine set at high speed. One minute I was sat comfortably watching a blurr of trees race past the window. The next minute my feet had left ground, the blurr of trees was replaced with a cloudy sky, my food and drinks went flying off the table and as I watched them fall to ground I caught a glimpse of the passengers across the aisle, the sides of their faces pinned to the window pane. Ok, so I exaggerated slightly, but the whole experience did make me feel very very sick.
It is no surprise then that on the way back from London I stopped by the chemist to pick up some motion sickness tablets. The guy behind the counter handed me a pack of pills and while doing so he informed me that they take 20 minutes to work, last up to 8 hours and can make one drowsy. This next bit is no exaggeration, they donâ€™t just make one drowsy, they render one unconscious. I slept through most of the three hour train journey. I only awoke twice, on both occasions to the following words, “I like big butts and I can not lieâ€? being blasted out by someone’s real-tone mobile phone! (not good!) Curing motion sickness by knocking me out may sound a bit drastic but it worked. I am still slightly dazed which probably explains the jumbled up mess that is todayâ€™s post. I shall return tomorrow with 365 Days Part 1.